To cleanse the palate, a nifty goof from the Independent Journal Review on the stupidity of trying to predict a national election 17 months out. I hope we can agree at least that if there’s any Republican out there capable of flipping a reliably blue midwestern state like Michigan, which hasn’t broken for the GOP since 1988, it’s a deep-south, stalwart social conservative like Mike Huckabee.

Here’s a more realistic prediction from Tim Carney:

[T]he pieces are in place for a Christie surge.

Most obvious, to anyone who’s watched Christie speak, are his personality and speaking style. When it comes to stage presence, Marco Rubio is the only 2016 Republican who beats Christie. While Rubio provides soaring, moving rhetoric, Christie provides something possibly more attractive to the primary electorate: a supreme confidence that suggests aptitude and a bit of pugnacity…

In private, he’s just as compelling. Regularly, Republican donors emerge from small chats with Christie impressed by the governor’s intelligence, energy and political savvy. And this may be part of his most important asset: access to money…

Jeb’s 15 percent nationally and double digits in New Hampshire are not a sign of strong support, but of name recognition. As the campaign heats up, expect that figure to drop. The Jeb backers will scatter amidst this crowded field, but Christie will likely be the biggest beneficiary of Jeb’s collapse.

True. There will come a moment, probably at a debate, maybe at a town hall in New Hampshire that goes viral on YouTube, when Christie will grab the attention of center-righties and end up getting a bounce from it. Not a bounce that puts him in the lead, maybe not even a bounce that puts him in the top three, but the guy won’t be stuck at five percent for the duration of the primaries. He won’t be the nominee but he ain’t an also-ran either. Another easy prediction: Provided she qualifies for the early debates, Carly Fiorina will end up in double digits at some point in this race. She’s too good in front of a mic not to pull votes from the “none of the above” crowd who are looking for an outside-the-box choice. Oh, and she’ll also get a speaking spot at the convention. But that’s a fait accompli already.

Two clips here from the IJR, one the Huckabee prediction and the other a very special message indeed from Zombie Reagan.